Draft Central’s 2021 NZNBL Women’s Team of the Week: Round 1

IN a week headlined by the dominance of the Waikato Wizards where they won three games by more than 30 points – two by 50-plus points – it was no surprise to see them feature heavily with three of the 10 players on our first Draft Central New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) Women’s Team of the Week. The Wizards were the only team to have multiple starters in the Team of the Week (all three), with Auckland Dream (one starter, two bench players) also having three players after three matches. Harbour Breeze (two), Capital Swish (one) and Canterbury Wildcats (one) complete the side, with Otago Gold Rush the only team not to have a representative for Round 1.

STARTING FIVE:

G: Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards)
G: Krystal Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards)
F: Amanda Wayment (Auckland Dream)
F: Tessa Boagni (Canterbury Wildcats)
C: Makayla Daysh (Waikato Wizards)

Charlisse Leger-Walker
Waikato Wizards | Guard
26.3 PPG | 9.3 RPG | 4.0 APG | 5.3 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 51.9 FG%

Leading the way as the clear standout player thanks to 29 of a possible 30 Most Valuable Player (MVP) votes, Leger-Walker was unstoppable, averaging the second most points – and scoring the most total points – as well as being fifth overall for rebounds, and first for steals in a really complete performance. Shooting at more than 50 per cent from the field made her a no-brainer and an instant starter in the side.

Krystal Leger-Walker
Waikato Wizards | Guard
14.0 PPG | 6.0 RPG | 5.7 APG | 3.7 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 37.8 FG%

It was a good opening round for the Leger-Walker sisters, with Krystal not far behind Charlisse in the Wizards’ back court. While her numbers are slightly lower across the board, she did top her sisters in assists, with 5.7 per game, the second most in the league. Her field goal percentage is lower at 37.8 per cent, but her overall impact across the court was undeniable, particular in the win over Capital Swish on Sunday night.

Amanda Wayment
Auckland Dream | Forward
10.7 PPG | 9.0 RPG | 0.3 APG | 2.7 SPG | 0.0 BPG | 48.0 FG%

After not scoring a basket from five attempts on night one against the Wizards, Wayment put together impressive back-to-back performances of 17 points and eight rebounds, and 15 and 14 against the Breeze and Wildcats respectively. She also collected six steals in the win against the Breeze in what was a really productive 24 minutes and has now seemed to hit her straps, earning a spot in the Team of the Week.

Tessa Boagni
Canterbury Wildcats | Forward
30.5 PPG | 16.0 RPG | 0.5 APG | 4.0 SPG | 1.0 BPG | 47.5 FG%

What a start this sharpshooter has made to the Wildcats, leading them to two straight wins in Round 1. She will go up against the Leger-Walker sisters in Round 2 making it a tantalising clash, through with two double-doubles behind her – including 34 points and 21 rebounds in an overtime win against Harbour Breeze – she was clearly the second picked behind Charlisse Leger-Walker in this team.

Makayla Daysh
Waikato Wizards | Center
13.7 PPG | 3.0 RPG | 0.0 APG | 1.7 SPG | 0.0 BPG | 63.2 FG%

Rounding out the starting five is the third Wizards talent, and reigning MVP star, Daysh. Able to almost play a supporting role to start the season thanks to the Leger-Walker sisters inclusions, Daysh is an unbelievable talent in her own right, and she has been consistent on the scoring front with double-figure points in each of her games, Whilst others have picked up more rebounds, – Daysh averages just the three per game, she has spent no more than 20 minutes on court, making her 40-minute average 33.8 points and 7.4 rebounds. Couple that with shooting at 63.2 per cent and she has earned the five spot.

BENCH:

G: Gabriella Foto (Harbour Breeze)
G: Tiarna Clarke (Harbour Breeze)
F: Sharne Robati (Auckland Dream)
F: Esra McGoldrick (Auckland Dream)
C: Jacinta Beckley (Capital Swish)

BENCH STATS:

Gabriella Fotu
Harbour Breeze | Guard
14.0 PPG | 6.5 RPG | 5.0 APG | 3.5 SPG | 41.67 FG%

Tiarna Clarke
Harbour Breeze | Guard
20.5 PPG | 2.5 RPG | 2.5 APG | 2.0 SPG | 32.43 FG%

Sharne Robati
Auckland Dream | Forward
13.7 PPG | 4.7 RPG | 0.7 APG | 0.7 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 41.2 FG%

Esra McGoldrick
Auckland Dream | Forward
9.7 PPG | 10.3 RPG | 2.3 APG | 2.0 SPG | 1.3 BPG | 40.7 FG%

Jacinta Beckley
Capital Swish | Centre
15.0 PPG | 6.5 RPG | 1.5 APG | 1.0 SPG | 1.5 BPG | 40.9 FG%

Among those considered unlucky not to make the Team of the Week are Capital Swish’s back court talent in Letava Whippy (10 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals), the only player to collect double-figure MVP votes but it was the hardest spot to squeeze into. Similarly, Swish’s Josephine Stockill (8.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks) came close to the four or five spots, but she marginally missed out. Breeze young gun Florence Dallow (13.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.5 steals) was certainly an eye-catcher of Round 1, and she was also close to making a front court place.

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